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Wishing For

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Summary: When John Gilbert calls Buffy with information about a vampire trying to break the sun and moon curse, she and Willow grudgingly head to Mystic Falls.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Vampire Diaries, The > Buffy-CenteredRiverchicFR13210,185252,72114 Oct 1114 Oct 11Yes

Chapter One

Title: Wishing For
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/The Vampire Diaries
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Pairings:Gen, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, John Gilbert, Stefan Salvatore, Damon Salvatore, Caroline Forbes, Elena Gilbert
Warnings None
Summary: When John Gilbert calls Buffy with information about a vampire trying to break the sun and moon curse, she and Willow grudgingly head to Mystic Falls. Buffy must quickly put aside her differences with John in the face of Elena Gilbert, the vampire doppelganger with a knack for finding trouble, and Damon Salvatore, the annoyingly sexy vampire with a knack for causing trouble. Oh, and werewolves. Because nothing cures boredom like werewolves.

…………………………………………

Buffy blinked at her phone. She was in the middle of a meeting at the Council in England, discussing the new Watcher recruiting. So far, things were going well, and just minutes before the meeting started, Buffy was whining to Giles about actually getting bored. She should have known better.

She was still staring at her vibrating phone, unaware that the meeting unintentionally came to a halt when she pulled out her phone but didn’t answer it.

“Buffy?” Giles asked softly. Her head snapped up when he called her.

“Huh?”

“Aren’t you going to answer that?” he asked, glancing down at her phone. It was still vibrating, and would go to voicemail soon if she didn’t pick up.

“I really don’t wanna.”

“Why not, Buff?” Xander asked, straining his neck to take a peek at the caller ID.

She took a deep breath and pressed the answer button. She had no idea why she was getting this call, but only bad things could come of it. That didn’t stop her curiosity from piquing.

With a calm expression on her face, she held the phone to her ear. “Hello, John.”

Willow paused with her drink halfway to her mouth. Giles immediately started cleaning his glasses and Xander’s head fell to the table with a loud thunk. The other Watchers in the room shifted uncomfortably and one of the slayers actually tensed, either to run at the first sight of trouble or to drag unwilling victims out of the way.

There was only one John who would call her cell phone and only one John who she spoke to with such an icy tone.

John Gilbert.

To say that she and John didn’t get along was like saying vampires didn’t go poof when she drove a wooden stake through their heart. John was a friend of Quentin Travers and the original Watchers’ Council, a pompous ass who thought he was God’s gift to the human community when it came to killing vampires, which meant he was not a fan of Buffy’s. She first met him a year before when Giles put out a request for a certain amulet needed to stop a ritual. John had it in his possession and handed it over with a smug grin, claiming the Council would owe him and he planned to collect. Buffy was glad Faith hadn’t been there, because while she restrained herself and didn’t drop-kick John out of the building, Faith would not have had as much self-control.

“Hello, Buffy,” John’s irritating voice said through the receiver. She grit her teeth. Listening to him was like listening to nails run down a chalkboard.

“I’m busy. What do you want?”

“No small talk?” he asked lightly and she tightened her grip on her phone. Willow glared at her and she took a calming breath. If Buffy broke another phone, Willow swore not to get her a new one for at least a week, and she needed her connection to the outside world.

“Like I said, I’m busy,” Buffy replied.

“And I’m in need of your assistance. I have a problem I believe you can help me with. I’m calling in my favor.”

She rolled her eyes. “And this problem concerns me how? I thought you claimed you would never need my help. That you had everything under control.”

“Well, in this instance, I think I am in need a bit of assistance.”

Buffy couldn’t help the wide grin that spread over her face. “Oh, ouch. How much did that hurt to say?”

Buffy,” Giles murmured sharply. She huffed. Trust Giles to always ruin her fun.

“Fine, John. What’s wrong?”

“For starters, one of the Original vampires is trying to break the sun and moon curse.”

Her brow furrowed. “You mean your species of vampire, right? Not mine? Because I’ve never heard of this sun and moon curse.”

John’s sigh came through loud and clear over the phone. Buffy hated that sigh. That was the sigh where John told her without words that he thought she was an idiot who was a waste of prime vampire slayer power. “Yes, Buffy, this is regarding my species of vampire.”

“All right. So what’s this curse and why should I care?”

“Because if he succeeds in breaking the curse, then all vampires can walk in the sunlight and not get burned.”

Buffy inhaled sharply and pulled her phone away from her ear, hitting the speaker button before placing the phone on the table. She rose out of her chair and leaned on the large table the Council members were gathered around. With a grim face, she met Giles’ worried gaze. “Tell us what you know.”

…………………………………………

Willow could have easily teleported to wherever John needed them, but he assured them he had to make one last stop before he returned home to his daughter and her vampire boyfriend. Buffy snorted at the thought of John ‘I hate vampires’ Gilbert’s daughter shacking up with a bloodsucker. In addition to that tidbit of knowledge, John also told them the details of the curse, and how his daughter’s death was crucial to it being broken.

Willow immediately began looking through all of her books, trying to find a mention of the sun and moon curse, but found nothing. The curse was non-existent. Buffy contemplated the idea that John was possibly making everything up just to get her to run all over the world, but she knew that he would never make a joke when it came to the safety of his daughter or the risk vampires posed.

The Council agreed to intervene, not because they owed John, but because of the seriousness of the situation. Giles decided that Buffy and Willow should both go—Buffy to stop the vampires and Willow to help with the spell aspect. John claimed that there were powerful witches already in play, but Buffy knew none were as powerful as her Willow.

They flew into Richmond on the day that John thought he would arrive in Mystic Falls and rented a car at the airport. The small town wasn’t far, only a few hours’ drive from the airport, and they made it just after nightfall.

Buffy pulled out her phone to call John so they could rendezvous and noticed a text from him.

“John sent a text with the address where he’s staying but sent another one five minutes ago. He said he’s at a place called the Mystic Grill and he needs us there ASAP.” She closed her phone. “Wow. The Mystic Grill. That’s original.”

Willow snickered as she flipped through the spell books she brought along on the trip. “Well, it’s a small town, kind of like Sunnydale.”

“And that was just a barrel of laughs,” Buffy replied sarcastically.

They continued down the narrow two lane road that led through the downtown area until the weather-worn sign over the Grill was in sight. Buffy parked the rental car on the street and tucked a stake up her sleeve.

As they walked inside, Buffy was reminded of The Bronze. There was less of a dance floor and more of a bar feel to the space, but it was still small with families inside and locals gossiping about what transpired in the town. She spotted movement out of the corner of her eye. John was standing outside the restrooms and had his arms crossed, with a pinched look on his face. Buffy nudged Willow and they began walking in that direction.

Just as they reached him, a young woman stepped out of the bathroom and John turned around, immediately putting his hands up to stop her from walking past him. For a moment, Buffy thought about drawing her stake and pushing the woman back into the bathrooms, but stopped as John and the woman began talking.

Willow inhaled sharply. “Buffy, she…” she trailed off, her voice failing her.

“I know,” she replied grimly as she began her trek over. As she neared John, Buffy picked up on the conversation.

“—here to here to make sure you stay safe,” he said soothingly. His voice did nothing to help his case, though. The young woman glared at him.

“I’ve got that covered,” she snapped.

“Jesus, John,” Buffy said to get his attention. He spun around, his face hardening when he saw who was addressing him. “You told me your daughter looked like Katherine, but you didn’t tell me they were identical.”

The resemblance Elena Gilbert had to Katherine Pierce was uncanny. They had the same eyes, the same color hair, and even squared their shoulders the same way. The only difference Buffy could see was that Elena didn’t have dead eyes and a violent aura surrounding her. Even though she and Katherine parted ways without killing each other, that didn’t mean that Buffy wasn’t going to put a stake through her black heart the first chance she got.

“I told you they had a familiar resemblance.”

Buffy glared at him, but took Giles’ earlier reminder to play nice to heart. She could play nice if she wanted to. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” Elena said, manhandling her way out of John’s grip.

Buffy put out her arm to stop her. When Elena tried to walk past and found she couldn’t move Buffy’s arm, she glared at her. “Who are you?”

Instead of answering, she turned to John, who sighed. “Some werewolves have captured a vampire who is relatively harmless and are holding her captive until the return of a young werewolf they consider their own.”

“Their names are Caroline and Tyler,” Elena snapped. “They’re my friends and I don’t want anything happening to them. I don’t want Stefan to get hurt either. Or Damon.”

“Damon is taking care of it, Elena. You need to stay here where you’re safe.”

She didn’t fly across the Atlantic to save a baby werewolf and a baby vampire, but Willow was already biting her lip and assessing the situation, gauging Buffy’s reaction. With a sigh, she looked at John. “Where are they? We’ll pick them up.”

“They’re in the woods, just north of town. I’ll give you directions.”

Buffy nodded. “We’ll be outside.”

As they walked away, she could hear John and Elena begin a heated argument, mostly revolving around who Buffy and Willow were and why John wouldn’t let her know about his plans. Buffy didn’t want to get involved in any type of family drama, having experienced enough of her own over the years. She and Willow walked back out to the car in silence until they were sure no one would hear them.

“Sounds like we got here just in time,” Buffy said with a sigh.

Willow tried to smile, but it came out more as a grimace. “Well, you were complaining that you were bored. You know what they say—be careful what you wish for.”
Buffy glared at her.

…………………………….

After dropping John and Elena off at the Gilbert house, John gave them the location where the werewolves and vampires were gathering. It was farther out of town than Buffy would have liked, but she wasn’t exactly included in on the conversation of where to hold the prisoner powwow. She parked the car off to the side of the dirt road leading up to a plateau where John claimed the werewolves were camping. As she and Willow got out, Buffy’s senses were on high alert. There were a lot of supernatural beings out and about tonight.

“What’s the plan?” Willow asked.

Buffy looked around at the layout. “I want you close by but out of sight. I’m going to pull the lost tourist routine just to get a look around. Hopefully no violence has to come out of this.” When Willow snorted, Buffy looked over in surprise. “What?”

“You just jinxed yourself. You’re going to be wiping blood and guts out of your hair tonight because of that little remark, missy.”

“Shut up,” Buffy glowered before double-checking her two stakes up her sleeves. While she would have liked to bring her scythe along or even a tranquilizer gun, she needed to get close to the vampires and werewolves without them knowing she was a threat.

John explained that if any of the vampires died tonight, the plans laid out to stop the ritual and save Elena were in serious jeopardy. The stakes were more for her own comfort than for any actual slayage.

Buffy crept up the hill, staying off of the path and listening carefully for sounds of any other people out and hidden in the shadows. Her slayer senses were going crazy and she knew that there were either vampires or werewolves close by, but she couldn’t pinpoint their location.

Ahead of her, in front of an old trailer, a woman paced. She suddenly stopped and looked up to her right. “I know you’re out there.”

For a moment, Buffy froze, thinking the woman had already discovered her or Willow, but two other people came out of the brush and into the moonlight. They were both young and fit the descriptions of Stefan and Tyler she and Willow were provided by John. Stefan was taller and had his hand curled tightly around Tyler’s arm.

“Where’s Caroline?” Stefan asked. Buffy listened closely for the answer. Caroline was the young female vampire the werewolves were torturing and was also one of Elena’s best friends.

“Locked up tight,” the woman replied. Buffy held in her sigh of frustration.

“Let her go and I release Tyler,” Stefan said. He was trying to be calm and soothing, but Buffy already knew the werewolves were desperate and would gladly kill the vampires if they could. “The situation doesn’t have to get any messier than it already has. I’m not your enemy, Jules.”

“It’s a little late to be waving the white flag, don’t you think?” Jules asked.

Buffy’s head snapped to her left when she saw movement in the brush. A man holding a crossbow, of all things, was crouched about twenty feet from her and staring intently at the exchange by the RV. Buffy slowly lowered herself closer to the ground so she wouldn’t be seen by him, but an uneasy feeling grew in her stomach. Werewolves staging an ambush for vampires was never a good thing.

“You need to leave town. No one else has to get hurt.”

She mentally begged Jules to take the deal. If Willow was right and she really was jinxed, then her brand new boots she bought in London were going to be ruined. That was going to make her cranky.

“I’m not leaving without Tyler.”

Buffy wanted to smash her head into the ground repeatedly. What was so special about this Tyler kid? The more she looked at him, the more nervous he appeared. Elena was convinced that he was a brand new werewolf, which meant that he didn’t have a lot of power.

“Tyler is free to make his own decisions as soon as you release Caroline,” Stefan replied firmly. Sensing a stalemate, Buffy was about to rise from her spot and insert herself into the fray when another voice called out in the clearing. She quickly ducked back into her spot, hoping the hidden werewolves didn’t notice her.

Judging by the leather jacket, the dark hair, and the devil-may-care attitude, Buffy guessed this was Damon, Stefan’s brother and John’s least favorite person in the world at the moment. As she looked him over, Buffy couldn’t help notice that he was tipping the scales in the hotness department.

Focus, Buffy, Willow’s voice reverberated in her head. She made a face, but listened to the conversation.

“—got here before me, I’m gonna let him try to do things his way before I resort to my way, which is a little bloodier. So, give us Caroline.”

Without even pausing, Jules retorted, “Let go of Tyler.”

Damon’s face hardened and Buffy could see the tension grow in his shoulders. “Give us Caroline. Without a full moon, it’s not an even fight and—”

Not risking waiting any longer, Buffy lurched up over the hill and began dusting off the grass and leaves on her jacket. She made a big show of huffing and panting. When she looked up, everyone had their eyes on her instead of on each other, which was a good thing.

“Oh, thank God,” she replied loudly, brushing off more debris from her jacket. “I thought I heard voices up here.”

“Who are you?” Damon asked sharply, his narrow eyes looking over Buffy.

“Look, my car broke down just down the hill and I was so worried that no one would be out here in the middle of the woods.”

“Why are you in the middle of the woods?” Jules asked curiously.

Buffy began looking around, trying to figure out exactly how many werewolves were in the area. “I was at this bar place back in town and some guy named John told me there was a party out here that I could have fun at. Any of you know him? He seemed like a dick but I’m always ready to party.”

She first looked at Jules, but the name meant nothing to the werewolf. Hoping for more luck, she turned to Damon and Stefan. Tyler was also clueless, but the vampires were peering at her curiously. Buffy gave them a small smirk before turning to Jules. “Can I just use your phone? Or your bathroom? Your bathroom would be great.”

She had a feeling that Caroline was inside the RV. If that was the case, Jules wouldn’t let her go inside. Sure enough, Buffy hadn’t taken two steps toward the vehicle before Jules reached out and grabbed her arm.

“You can’t go…” she trailed off, glancing down at Buffy’s arm, feeling the stake underneath it. “What the—”

Before she could finish her sentence, Buffy wrenched her arm out of the werewolf’s grasp and backhanded her so she flew through the air and landed on the ground. The moment she sat up, Jules whistled loudly and the werewolves lying in wait came down the small hill to the clearing.

“Damn it,” Buffy said with a wince. “That’s kind of what I wanted to avoid.”

The werewolf she had been hiding from earlier shot his crossbow at Buffy. She caught it inches from her face with a huff. “Hey! I’m not the one who gets staked. I do the staking.” She threw the stake back so that it lodged itself in the werewolf’s thigh and he went down.

Another werewolf had a flame thrower and Stefan quickly maneuvered behind him and used him as a shield. As soon as he let go of Tyler’s arm, the werewolf rushed forward and Jules pushed him into the RV. Buffy was about to rush after him to find the female vampire, Caroline, but Jules used the RV as a jumping board and landed a solid kick to her side. With a retaliating kick, Jules was once again thrown away.

Just as she was about to enter the RV, a werewolf jumped off the top. Buffy’s eyes widened and she braced herself for the pain hitting the hard ground would cause, but a black blur streaked in front of her and the werewolf fell to the ground, his lifeless eyes wide open.

Buffy glanced at her rescuer, Damon, who was holding the werewolf’s heart in his hand. “Ew,” she said, making a disgusted face as he dropped the heart to the forest floor. “Was that really necessary?”

“Saved your life, didn’t it?” Damon asked with a raised eyebrow before turning to another werewolf.

She looked at Stefan, who grabbed the stake launched at him before throwing it back into the neck of a werewolf. “That was so my move,” Buffy muttered as she took on another werewolf.

Just as she was about to punch the werewolf into unconsciousness, Stefan yelled out loudly and Buffy’s head shot up. Her eyes widened when she saw the stake being pulled from his back by another werewolf.

Her own opponent used her distraction to land a punch that made her spin and lose her footing. She fell to her knees with a wince. Just as she started to get up, a gunshot rang out and she instinctively ducked, covering her head.

Damon fell to the ground in front of her with a groan. Standing over his body was Jules, holding the smoking gun. The werewolf Buffy was fighting grabbed her hair and pulled her back up to her knees, using his other hand to grip under her neck. Buffy kicked back and heard a bone in the werewolf’s leg snap, but his tight hold on her hair didn’t loosen.

Before her, a blonde teenager Buffy assumed must be Caroline exited the RV and looked around with wide eyes. Before she took two steps, Jules slammed her against the door and held the gun to her neck. Tyler stood in shock at the sight. With a quick glance at Damon, Buffy saw a werewolf hold a stake high about his head, ready to bring it down to kill the vampire. The same went for Stefan.

It was time to end this.

“Willow!” Buffy shouted loudly.

Her shout distracted Jules and the werewolf on top of Damon just long enough for Willow to lurch above the hill and raise her hands. All of the werewolves gripped their heads tightly and let out screams of pain. They dropped to the floor. Jules dropped her gun and the two werewolves standing over Stefan and Damon let their stakes clatter to the floor. The werewolf holding her hair let go and Buffy shot up, kicking him in the stomach to get him farther away from her.

She rushed over to Caroline. The vampire whimpered and slammed her back against the RV then winced at the pain it caused. “No! Caroline, it’s okay. It’s okay!”

The vampire’s eyes widened. “How do…how do you know my name?”

“I’m a friend of the Gilberts. I’m here to help you and get you out of here.”

Willow was standing next to Damon, who raised himself up with a groan. Her hair was whipping around her and her eyes were darkened, but didn’t turn completely black. He peered at her curiously. “Who the hell are you?”

She didn’t even spare him a glance, keeping her eyes trained on the downed werewolves. “The witch who just saved your life.”

Buffy wrapped an arm around Caroline’s middle, careful of all her wounds. Stefan limped over and joined her. “Are you the person John called to help?”

“Yes,” she said, “But right now, we need to get out of here. I have a car down the hill. Save your strength.”

As she helped Caroline walk away from the site, Damon and Stefan walked behind her. Willow followed behind all of them, her face still intensely focused. Buffy helped Caroline into the front seat of the car, ignoring the brothers when Damon pulled Stefan aside. Even though they were behind her, she angled her head to listen.

“Are we really going to trust them?” Damon asked.

“Yes, Damon. John sent them.”

Damon scoffed. “And you trust him?”

“No,” Stefan replied, “But I trust him to do what’s best for Elena. If that includes bringing in people who can obviously help us, then I’ll go with it.”

“Hey,” Buffy said lightly, “are you two coming or not?”

With narrowed eyes, Damon looked at Willow. “What about your witchy friend there?”

“I’m going to stay behind and make sure the wolves don’t follow you,” Willow said, not letting her gaze leave the hilltop. “I’ll meet you at the Gilbert’s house.”

Buffy raised an expectant eyebrow at the two brothers. With a sigh, Damon nodded and followed Stefan into the car. She didn’t miss the way they both winced from their injuries. When they were all seated, she took a deep breath.

“Do you need to hunt before I take you back?”

John explained that while Stefan and Caroline hunted in the forest and fed only on animal blood, Damon had a store of human blood from nearby blood banks at their house. It was better than killing humans, she supposed.

Caroline shook her head. “I just want to go home.”

Nodding, Buffy looked in the rear-view mirror at the two brothers. “We both have blood at home,” Stefan said. “Thank you, though.”

As she began driving away, she realized she had no idea how to get out of the woods. “How do I get back to town?” Buffy asked.

“Take a right at the end of the road and it’ll get you back to the main highway,” Stefan said.

It was quiet in the car before Damon broke the silence with a sigh. “Okay, is no one else curious about the little human that kicked a werewolf across the woods or about the crazy powerful witch who dropped all the werewolves to their knees?”

Buffy grinned, despite herself. “I’m a friend.”

“And does this friend have a name?” Damon asked. She met his eyes in the rearview mirror and raised her eyebrow.

“Yes, but I’m not about to tell the snarky vampire in the backseat who hasn’t even said thank you yet.”

Stefan chuckled. “She’s a friend of John Gilbert’s.”

“She’s what?” Damon hissed.

“Hold on,” Buffy snapped. “I never said I was John’s friend. I said I was a friend of the Gilberts. Elena is nice. John I’d like to drop-kick in the face.”

In the rearview mirror, she saw Damon grin at his brother. “I like her. She’s violent.”

Stefan rolled his eyes.
Nothing else was said as they drove to the Gilbert’s house. When she pulled up to the driveway, Willow was already sitting on the porch waiting for them and stood at their arrival.

“How did she get all the way here when we left before her?” Stefan asked. Buffy snickered and parked the car, killing the ignition. As they all got out, Elena rushed out of the house and past Willow. First, she went to Caroline and gave her friend a gentle hug, but she smiled at Stefan.

Buffy felt Damon stiffen next to her and glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. Looks like Stefan wasn’t the only brother in love with Elena. She sighed out loud. That’s just what she needed, relationship drama.

As she walked up to Willow, Damon followed, but Buffy ignored him. “Any problems?”

The witch shook her head. “They all stayed down and I told Tyler to give them a message that they needed to get out of town. Hopefully, they’ll receive said message and we won’t have to deal with them anymore.”

Buffy glared at her. “Now who’s jinxed herself?”

In retaliation, Willow stuck out her tongue. Damon chuckled.

“So, do we get to finally get to know who our beautiful heroines are?”

Before Buffy could respond, the front door opened and John stepped out, raking his eyes over the group.

“I’d be careful, Damon,” he said smoothly. “Miss Summers isn’t usually the one saving vampires. She’s the one killing them.”

She glared at him. “You just love to stir things up, don’t you? You can’t help it.”

When she turned back to Damon, he was no longer grinning at her, but peering at her curiously. “Mind to explain that little comment?”

“What, that John likes to cause trouble?” she asked curiously.

Willow nudged her. “I think he meant about the killing vampires, Buff.”

“She’s a vampire slayer,” John replied lightly. Buffy turned around and glared at him, clenching her fists so she wouldn’t lash out and smack him.

“Damn it, John! Will you shut up and let me talk?”

He held up his hands in mock surrender. By this time, Stefan, Elena, and Caroline had joined them.

“A vampire slayer?” Caroline asked softly. “Is that as straight-forward as it sounds?”

“One girl in all the world whose destiny lies solely in the killing of vampires and demons. Super strength, super speed, and blood that tastes like the sweetest honey with a pretty powerful kick,” Damon said, ending his sentence in a smirk. When Buffy glared at him, he shrugged unapologetically. “I got bored in the ‘50’s.”
She rolled her eyes. “Not a chance,” she muttered, but the vampires’ hearing caught it, causing Damon to grin.

“I need to get back home,” Caroline said, looking at her watch. “Mom won’t be there, but I really want to get out of these icky clothes.”

Buffy looked her over apologetically. She could tell the young girl was upset about her ordeal and trying to play cool so that no one else would notice. Maybe once she got away from the crowd, Caroline could break down a bit. “Blood is hard to get out of clothes, but werewolf blood is even harder. I hope you weren’t too attached to those.”

She got some curious looks for that, but paid them no attention.

“I’ll just toss them later,” Caroline said with a nervous laugh.

“Why don’t I take you home?” Buffy said. “I know you’ll heal quickly, but you really should save your strength.”

Caroline didn’t protest much, so Buffy knew the vampire was tired. In her mind, it was hard to differentiate the difference between blood-sucking monster and scared teenage girl, but she could tell by how Caroline was acting that she wasn’t the normal vampire. She heard Elena mention that Stefan would probably need to get some blood in him and he said he would hunt in the forest later. It sounded like they adopted the Angel diet, without the nifty butchers around.

“Where are you two staying?” Elena asked.

“They’ll be staying here for as long as they need to.”

The way Elena tensed up at the answer made Buffy think that John hadn’t consulted with anyone else when he made those plans. Buffy knew how jarring it was for complete strangers to stay uninvited, and she didn’t want to impose on anyone.

Willow seemed to pick up on the tense atmosphere and glared at John. “You’re such a butthole, John. Did you even ask Elena if it was okay for us to stay here?”

“It was my decision.”

“And since you’re an ass, we’ll decline,” Buffy snapped. “We can stay in a hotel.”

“Nonsense,” Damon said, causing everyone to look at him in surprise. “You can stay at the boarding house with us.”

Buffy just blinked at him. “Seriously?”

The vampire shrugged. “We can bond over our mutual dislike of John.”

Willow raised an eyebrow. “And it has nothing to do with the fact that you think her blood tastes like honey?”

Damon smirked at her. “A powerful witch’s blood doesn’t have the same kick, but it’s much sweeter. Either one works.”
Buffy looked between John and Damon before rolling her eyes. “Go on to the car, Caroline. I’ll join you in a minute and take you home.”

“Don’t you want to bring your bags inside?” John asked curiously.

She snorted. “I’m not staying here.”

“You can’t possibly be considering staying with Damon and Stefan.”

Buffy flashed him a grin. “I don’t trust you not to off me in my sleep, John. I don’t trust Damon to do the same, but at least with him, I know I’ll enjoy it.”

Willow snickered at the look on John’s face. Xander would get a kick out of the exchange. Giles, not so much, but she was positive he would understand her plight.

“I want to stay to do some warding around the house,” Willow said before turning to Stefan and Damon. “Could one of you take me to the boarding house after I’m done here?”

Before Damon could make a smart-ass reply, Stefan agreed. “I’ll be happy to take you over to the house, Willow.”

His brother glared at him for it and Willow giggled. He looked honestly affronted that Stefan jumped into the conversation. “Stefan, you can stay with your girlfriend if you want. Someone has to protect her from John.”

Elena smiled but watched sadly as Caroline walked to the car. The blonde vampire slowly got in, gingerly sliding into the seat and closing the door. “Is she going to be okay?”

With a sigh, Willow shook her head. “Physically, yes. Emotionally, well, torture really takes it out of a girl. If I were in her shoes, I would need some ice cream, popcorn, a chick flick and my two best friends by my side. After that, she’ll be fine.”

Slowly, Elena smiled. “Don’t leave yet,” she told Buffy.

“What are you thinking?” Stefan asked, looking down at her.

“I’m going to call Bonnie.”

She slipped into the house while Stefan grinned. Willow looked between the two brothers. “Who’s Bonnie?”

“Our own resident witch,” Damon said with a snap, his eyes narrowed. Buffy sensed the hostility, but didn’t comment on it. The harsh expression on his face melted away before a smooth smirk appeared. “She’s not nearly as fascinating as you.”

Willow rolled her eyes and Buffy almost did the same. She was glad that Damon was focusing on Willow and not her. She had enough of slightly unhinged vampires chasing after her to last a lifetime.

“Bonnie and Elena are Caroline’s two closest friends,” Stefan explained after glaring at his brother. “I’m guessing your suggestion gave Elena an idea.”

Stefan went inside and up the stairs, calling out for his girlfriend. John peeked around the corner farther inside the home, but Buffy ignored his questioning glance.

Willow touched Buffy on the shoulder to get her attention. “I’ll do a walk-around and then put up wards.”

Buffy nodded and then it was just she and Damon on the porch by themselves. Damon had his hands tucked into his pant pockets and Buffy crossed her arms defensively. From her research and from John’s mentions, she knew that one of the most dangerous vampires she was going to come across during this trip would be Damon. He was a bit like Spike, but with no chip to hold him back. The concept made her nervous.

“So, a vampire slayer, huh?” Damon asked with an edge in his voice. “Killed many vampires?”

“Too many to count,” she confirmed, leaning back against the post on the porch. Even though she relaxed slightly, she was still ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. “I heard you’re doing rather well for yourself in the vampire body count, too.”

“I’ve got a bigger number of humans on the body count.”

“Is that really something you want to be bragging about?” Buffy asked incredulously.

Damon just smirked and took a step towards her, getting closer than she was comfortable with. Her shoulders tightened. “I meant it when I said slayer blood was sweet.”

Way too much like Spike. “And I meant it when I said not a chance,” she said through grinding teeth. She was eating her words all over the place tonight.

“We’ll see about that,” he replied, his smirk growing. Buffy refused to believe he knew what she was thinking. “I look forward to working with you.”

He started walking down the porch stairs. “Where are you going?” she blurted out in surprise.

Damon turned around and began slowly walking backwards down the sidewalk. “Home. I need blood and I really don’t care to hang around for all the girl bonding that’s set to occur. See you soon, Slayer.”

The moment he turned around, he was gone. Buffy exhaled shakily.

A few minutes later, Willow came around the corner and walked back up on the porch. “Where did Damon go?” she asked.

“Home, thank God.”

Willow’s eyebrow rose at Buffy’s tone. “Where we’ll be staying.”

“It’s the lesser of two evils, Will,” she explained. “I would rather stay with Stefan and Damon than with John. Nothing’s going to happen to us and we’ll be able to get more done without John standing in our way. Plus, Elena’s aunt lives here and she has no idea about the supernatural. It would be like our sophomore and junior years in high school all over again.”

“Ick,” Willow said, making a face. “No thanks.”

“Exactly.”

The front door opened again and Elena and Stefan stepped out. Elena had her pillow and a blanket in her arms while an overnight bag was slung over Stefan’s shoulder.

Elena gave them a smile. “My friend Bonnie is meeting us at Caroline’s place. I think a bit of girl-time and a sleepover is just what she needs.”

“I’ll meet you there,” Stefan said, touching Elena’s shoulder. “I want to talk to John first.” At the worried glance she shot him, Stefan kissed her forehead gently. “Don’t worry; it’s nothing bad.”

Buffy took the bag from Stefan and put it over her own shoulder. He walked back inside and the three girls walked back to the car. Buffy popped the trunk so she could put Elena’s things in the back.

By the time Buffy got in the car, Caroline was turned around and gripping Elena’s hand tightly, unshed tears making her eyes shine brightly. Willow gave Buffy a small smile in the rear view mirror. She returned it and turned the engine over, pulling away from Elena’s house.
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